Wait for It, by Mariana Zapata

wfi

Grade: B

Doing it at: 96%

Catnip: Friends to Lovers; Single Mom; Real Live Grownups; Slow Burn; Strong Female Lead; Coach Me; CoHo Exception; Neighbors; Sports Stuff; Mexican American Heroine; Perfect Gentleman

Shame Scale: No shame, you could share this book with your local little league coach, or read most of it aloud in your quiet office over winter break. It’s basically a clean read, guys.

Fantasy Cast:  Jeffrey Dean Morgan (not doing anything remotely violent!)& America Ferrera

Book Description:


If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn’t been one long enough.

Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing half the time. How she’s made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn’t supposed to be so hard.

With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for.

Except for a boyfriend.

Or a husband.

But who needs either one of those?


Wait for It is Mariana Zapata’s newest release, and the fourth of her books that I’ve read, and to begin with I have to say that these are not my usual type of books. Zapata writes SLOW BURNS. And I am not exaggerating the slow, look at that doing it percentage up there! With my growing inability to focus on anything for more than two minutes at a time (ooooh something happened on Twitter, better fall down an internet hole!), I don’t know what it is about Zapata’s books that hold my attention.

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Mad About the Marquess, Elizabeth Essex

mad about the marquess

Grade: A

Doing it at: 93%

Catnip: Kilts, Red Hot Banter, Deep Dark Secrets, Wed Before Bed, Hate to Love You, Lords and Ladies, CoHo Exception, Dual Narrative, Strong Female Lead

Shame Scale: Very low, this one is pretty friendly for reading in Dr’s offices, kindergarten classrooms (well, not aloud), and public transport vehicles

Fantasy Cast:  This mystery ginger, Camilla Luddington

Book Description:

WHEN A LADY TAKES TO THE ROAD TO PLAY ROBIN HOOD

Lady Quince Winthrop has been robbing from society’s rich and giving to Edinburgh’s poor for years. But everything changes the day she can’t resist the temptation to steal from the Marquess of Cairn.

SHE MUST BE ON HER GUARD AGAINST HER SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM

Alasdair, Marquess of Cairn, has come back to Scotland to stop a thief, never thinking that the lass he’s trying to woo is about to give a lesson in larceny he won’t be able to forget. From the twisted streets of Auld Reeky, to the hills of the highlands, Quince leads Alasdair on a merry chase, and finds the one man she shouldn’t fall for, is the one man she can’t resist.

LOVE IS EVEN HARDER TO RESIST THAN TEMPTATION.


I spent most of this spring in a very serious reading slump, maybe the worst slump of my whole reading life (approaching the 30 year mark), and I was starting to think I would never ever break out of it. I wasn’t reading, so I wasn’t blogging, and Mary was getting real tired of my shit. LUCKILY I have since recovered, and been blessed with a streak of exemplary reads. Including Mad About the Marquess, one of the most charming historicals I’ve ever read.

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Cold-Hearted Rake, Lisa Kleypas

cold hearted

Grade: B

Doing it at: 73%

Catnip: Historical, Forbidden Romance; Bareback Riding; Strong Female Lead; Dual Narrative; Reformed Rake; Lords and Ladies; CoHo Exception

Shame Scale: I dare anyone to try to make me feel bad about reading a book whose title is a play on a Paula Abdul Song, come at me bro.

Fantasy Cast:  Yael Grobglas; Joseph Fiennes (Circa Shakespeare in Love)

Book Description:

A twist of fate . . .

Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.

A clash of wills . . .

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?


I’ve spoken more than once on the blog about how historicals were my first romance book-love; I had a summer job watching kids whose mom inhaled paperback romances. She always had a giant bag of them in the living room that I would dip into, for an “education.” She was very into Sandra Brown historical’s, mostly set in the old west, and I still vividly remember a scene where the virginal heroine was titillated by watching the hero wash himself in just his britches from her bedroom window. And also Iris Johansen whose books I rediscovered last year, and loved all over again. The Johansen reread was a big part of my nosedive into full time romance. Anyway, this rambling introduction is just to lament how few historical romances I’ve been reading lately and to tell you I was really excited for Cold Hearted Rake, because Kleypas is pretty much the best historical fiction author working today.

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Amour Amour: by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Grade: A

Doing it at: 73%

Catnip: Strong Female Lead; Circus; Russians; Piercings; Alpha; Las Vegas; Gymnasts Are So Bendy; CoHo Exception

Shame Scale: No shame, I read a paper copy of this and the cover is so pretty, I took it all over town with no qualms. Plus it reads like a Real Book.

Fantasy Cast:  Cooper Neilson (I’m sorry that’s just where my brain goes!); Anna Kendrick

Book Description:

Love is a circus

“Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future–acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.


Amour Amour had all the catnip in the world for me, when I read the blurb online that it was like Center Stage at the circus I was So Sold. We’ve mentioned our Center Stage obsession more than once, right? Both Mary and I love dancing movies, and I’m still on my quest for a book about a male ballerina (besides Julian Marquet in the Dollanganger books of course), Nikolai the Russian-Aerialist-Alpha was pretty close to my dream though, guys.

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The Allure of Julian Lefray, by R.S. Grey

lefray

Grade: B

Doing it at: 76%

Catnip: Rom Com; Cinderella Story; Banging the Boss; Sex in the City; I’m on a Boat; CoHo Exception

Shame Scale: No shame, this was like a novelization of a Meg Ryan film

Fantasy Cast:  Theo James; Emily Ratajkowski

Book Description:

From: JosephineKeller@LLDesigns.com
To: LilyNBlack@gmail.com
Subject: Justin Timberlake Nudes!

Lily, you predictable perv. I knew you’d open this email faster if I tempted you with a glimpse of JT’s “PP”. Well, put your pants back on and grab some bubbly because I have much better news to share.

I GOT A JOB!

As of tomorrow, I’ll be the new executive assistant at Lorena Lefray Designs. I am SO excited, but there’s one itty bitty problem: I won’t be Lorena’s assistant. I’ll be working for her older brother, Julian.

I know what you’re thinking- “But Jo, what’s the problem?”

Google him. Now. He’s the man in the fitted navy suit whose face reminds you that there’s hope yet for this cruel, ugly world. Keep scrolling…Do you see those dimples? Yup. That’s the Julian Lefray I will be reporting to tomorrow morning.

Lord, help us all…

XO,
Jo


After reading six dark romances in a row, The Caged series and the Tillie Cole Hades Hangmen books, I was ready for something fluffy. I needed a meringue of a book, and The Allure of Julian Lefray was the perfect palate cleanser. The book reads like a charming romantic comedy, and I would be all over a movie version, especially if my casting advice was followed and we got to watch Theo James in suits for two hours.

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